Staff Profile

Dr Max Suckling
Science Group Leader, Biosecurity

More information about our Bioprotection research

Dr Max Suckling


BSc (Hons), Zoology, Massey University, New Zealand
Diploma, Biotechnology (Dist), Massey University, New Zealand
PhD, Entomology, Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Research Interests & Activities

Insect suppression and eradication with socially-acceptable tools; Pheromones and other semiochemicals for monitoring pest or invasive insects and biocontrol agents. Joint appointment to School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland.

International Collaboration

Fondazione Edmund Mach, San Michele, All’Adige, Italy

International Atomic Energy Agency Working Group, Sterile Insect Technique for Lepidoptera

Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Fruit Flies (Macquarie University, Sydney) and SITplus

Honours & Awards

2019 -                         Co-Leader, OECD Coop Res Prog “Managing Risks in a Connected World”

2019 -                         Affiliate, Fondazione Edmund Mach, San Michele, All’Adige, Italy

2018                            Fellow, Royal Entomological Society of London (UK)

2018                            Trimble Award

2017                            New Zealand Plant Protection Medal

2012                            Plant & Food Research Chairman's Award for Excellence

2011                            OECD Fellowship (USDA ARS, Montpellier, France)

2006                            OECD Fellowship (USDA ARS, Hilo)

2003-2012                  Member and Deputy Chair, Environmental Risk Management Authority

2003                            HortResearch Chairman’s Award for Excellence (Painted Apple Moth Eradication)

2003                            Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ 

2002                            ISAT Award

2000                            MORST Institute of Directors Award

1999                            Trimble Award

1999                            Int. Plant Protection Congress Award

1998                            British Crop Protection Council Senior Travel Bursary

1996                            C. Alma Baker Fellowship

1996                            Lincoln University Foundation Award

1995                            Italian Fruitgrowers Award

1994                            Swedish Travel Award

1990                            C. Alma Baker Trust Award

1990                            NZ Commemorative Medal for Excellence in Science

Key Publications

El-Sayed AM, Sporle A, Gemeno C, Jósvai JK, Simmons GS, Suckling DM. (2019) Leafroller-induced phenylacetonitrile and acetic acid attract adult Lobesia botrana in European vineyards. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C 74: 161-165. doi:10.1515/znc-2018-0163.

El-Sayed AM, Venkatesham U, Unelius CR, Sporle A,Taylor, PW, Suckling DM (2019) Chemical composition of the rectal gland and volatiles released by female Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae). Environmental Entomology 48: 807-814. doi:10.1093/ee/nvz061.

Horrocks K, Avila G, Holwell G & Suckling DM (2020) Integrating SIT and inundative releases of sterile classical biocontrol agents for eradication: Is The Kamikaze Wasp Technique feasible ? BioControl

Horrocks KJ, Ward D & Suckling DM (2019) Can natural enemies of current insect pests provide biotic resistance to future pests? Agricultural and Forest Entomology doi:10.1111/afe.12353.

Mas F, Harper A, Horner R, Brierley S & Suckling DM (2019) The scent of individual foraging bees. Journal of Chemical Ecology. In press

Mas F, Horner R, Brierley S, Butler RC & Suckling DM (2019) Selection of key compounds from crops by honey bees depending on sensory capacity sense and experience. Journal of Insect Physiology.

Mas F, Horner RM, Cazere S, Alavi M & Suckling DM (2019) Odorant-based detection and discrimination of two economic pests in export apples. Journal of Economic Entomology. doi:10.1093/jee/toz254.

Mas F, Manning L-A, Singlet M, Butler R, Mille C, Suckling DM. (2019) Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of Queensland fruit fly females to fruit odors. in press.

Park KC, McNeill M, Suckling DM & Unelius CR (2020) Species-specific set of olfactory receptor neurons for plant volatile and pheromone compounds in the lucerne weevil, Sitona discoideus. Journal of Chemical Ecology in press.

Paterson G, Perry GLW, Walker JTS & Suckling DM (2019) Peri-urban community attitudes towards codling moth trapping and suppression using the sterile insect technique in New Zealand. Insects 335.

Ricciardi R, Lucchi A, Benelli G & Suckling DM (2019) Multiple mating in the citrophilous mealybug Pseudococcus calceolariae: Implications for mating disruption. Insects 10: 285. doi:10.3390/insects10090285

Stringer LD, Soopaya R, Butler RC, Vargas RI, Souder SK, .. Suckling DM... (2019) Effect of lure combination on fruit fly surveillance sensitivity. Scientific Reports 9: 2653. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-37487-6.

Suckling DM, Cristofaro M, Roselli G, Levy MC, Cemmi A, et al. (2019) Competitive mating of irradiated brown marmorated stink bugs, Halyomorpha halys, for the sterile insect technique. Insects 10. doi:10.3390/insects10110411.

Suckling DM, Levy MC, Roselli G, Mazzoni V, Ioriatti C, et al. (2019) Live traps for adult brown marmorated stink bugs. Insects 10: 376. doi:

Suckling DM, Mazzoni V, Roselli G, Levy MC, Ioriatti C, et al. (2019) Trapping brown marmorated stink bugs: Lure and kill using “The Nazg»ól” insecticide nets. Insects 10. doi:

Suckling DM, Stringer LD, Kean JK & Baird D (2019) Will growing invasive arthropod biodiversity outpace our ability for eradication ? Ecological Applications 00(00):e01992. 10.1002/eap.1992. doi: